There’s nothing new about scams. But maybe there is! They are getting harder to detect and the scammers are getting more convincing.
I just got off the phone with a client who fell for a banking scam (July 13, 2021). Don’t think that you are immune to these types of scams – it can happen to the best of us. This nearly cost my client $11,000! Thankfully they felt that something wasn’t going right and called CompuSave just in time.
Our client received a call, stating it was the fraud investigation department from their bank. Supposedly some false charges had appeared on the client’s account and the caller worked together with our client to gain their confidence. They then proceeded to connect to the client’s computer and “show them the fraudulent transactions”. They then worked together to get into the client’s online banking, and then tricked “their banking client” into driving to town to purchase $1,000 of Google Play cards. These cards were supposedly going to be used in order to track down the stores which had been involved in the fraudulent transactions. All the while the scammer is reassuring the client they are being helped and informs them to keep things very confidential. It all sounds so real, and the client is scared about the scam that supposedly happened to them, in the meantime being duped into a scam right at that moment.
After a bit of time, the whole process was just getting too scary, and our client reached out to CompuSave. Thankfully we support this client on a regular basis and had remote support software already installed on their computer. (This stuff is scary when put into the wrong hands – but remote control of your computer in the hands of trustworthy technicians can save you $11,000 as well!) It took me 15 to 20 tries of getting onto the client’s computer since the scammer saw my connection and kept kicking me off. When I finally connected successfully, I disabled control of the computer, signed out of the banking information, closed off the scammers connection and removed their software.
(To immediately stop remote control of your computer by an untrusted individual – unplug your Internet or turn off your computer. Feel free to do so even if they are telling you it will have irreversible consequences. They will scare you as much as they can to keep connected to your device.)
After ensuring there was no further connection to our clients computer, we worked together with them to review recent banking transactions. Thankfully there were not any unwanted credit card charges yet, we took the precaution of locking their cards until the bank could be contacted for replacements. We then found out that the scammer had transferred $10,000 between accounts – very likely with the intent to shortly steal that money. Thankfully we had stopped them on time and we transferred the money back to where it belonged.
In the end we changed all passwords for banking sites and any sites where online purchases are made. The client is stuck with $1,000 in Google Play cards but at least they didn’t get into the hands of the scammers yet. (If you need Google Play cards we are helping our client to sell these – so stop in the store to purchase.)
- If you ever have a gut feeling that something doesn’t feel quite right (whether it’s a phone call or an email), follow your gut. Do what it takes to get out of it: hang up, turn off your computer, unplug your Internet, delete the email, whatever it takes. And if you aren’t sure what to do, call a trusted “tech source” (put CompuSave on speed-dial if you like – call or text 519-863-6336).
- Never get talked into buying gift cards (or bitcoin for that matter) by anyone – anytime. Not for the above scenario, but also not for a friend who asks you to do so by text or email. Those are a whole other set of scams that are happening. If it feels like a strange request, call the person or talk to them in person to confirm.
There are many more scams out there and I wish we could warn you about them all. I hope this blog post helps at least 1 person out of a scam. Please be sure to share with all your friends and family. We don’t want to support scammers! Every dollar they get by scamming is sure to be used to increase their artillery to trick more unsuspecting individuals.
Brad | CompuSave Computers Inc.